What to Say When Proposing—Besides the Obviou

You want your proposal to be significant and unforgettable, with words that represent all of your feelings, 

but how do you know what to say when you're in the moment? By being prepared. 

Sound like yourself.

If your statements are overly scripted, clichéd, or appear to be coming from someone else's mouth, you will come out as fake or robotic. Memorize the main points you wish to make, then deliver a loose script in a conversational tone.

Go with the emotional flow.

It is acceptable to cry while proposing; if you are, your spouse will most likely be as well. Whether or not they have seen this sensitive side of you before, they will adore you for it.

Offer some historical perspective of your feelings.

You could start your proposal speech by telling them how you felt the first time you met or when you realized you loved them. Take a hint from Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, who told Maria that he initially fell for her "when you sat on that ridiculous pine cone." When did the "aha" moment strike you?

Say what you love most about them.

Next, choose their best attributes and express how much you respect them. Are they giving with their time and love? Patient and fair-minded? Or do you adore them for their sharp intellect and wit?

Tell them how they've changed your life for the better.

Have you been more confident, gentler, or responsible as your relationship progressed? What aspects of their personality or way of life have had a significant impact on your own? Now is the time to express your gratitude for their beneficial influence on you.

Talk about the future.

Marriage represents a commitment to spend the rest of your lives together. Say something about your future plans—do they include having children, going on travels, and growing in love?

End with the famous four words.

Everything you plan to say up to this point should lead to you asking them to be your life mate. As you approach the climax, go down on one knee to ask the big question. 

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